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Slovenia is an extremely underrated destination; it is truly one of Europe’s hidden treasures. Anyone who wants a taste of the natural beauty of Europe only needs to visit Slovenia to see how it exceeds all expectations. Known to be the third most forested area in Europe, it is a mixture of heavily forested landscape juxtaposed with rolling, cultured hills, which creates a country of lush greenery. Among the greenery, the adventuring cyclist will also enjoy seeing castles, vineyards, lakes and rivers, that would rival any “top” European destination. One of our most highly-rated tours (and one of our longest and longest-running), this self-guided hybrid cycling tour through Slovenia was rated the best trip winner by Active Times in 2014. We provide you the option of choosing a ten-day cycling vacation from the Slovenian Alps to the shores of the Adriatic, or sticking with a shorter version that ends in the capital city of Ljubljana. Come experience biking at its best, in Slovenia with Pure Adventures Tours.
Arrive to Ljubljana Airport or rail station, transfer included to Kranjska Gora for start. Depart from Trieste on own, bus is 1.5 hrs to Ljubljana. Please inquire for private departure transfers.
Not Included: Choice of Hybrid, Road or E-bike Rental
Included Standard Lodging:
About: 3 and 4 star hotels and a deluxe guest house, conveniently situated in each town. All lodging offers a private bathroom, breakfast, and a variety of other amenities. Bedding is European style: 2 twin beds separate or pushed together.
Local Expert: Meet Jana; she manages incoming travel to Slovenia and has been working here since 2009. A real expert in all things Slovenia and very fluent and eloquent in English she will meet you upon your arrival in Slovenia. In her free time she likes to play saxophone and goes to rock concerts!
Need to Know:
Arrival Day! We include a transfer from the capitol city of Ljubljana Airport or rail station to Kranjska Gora, where you will start out. The town of Kranjska Gora is a popular ski resort and an excellent base for hiking, mountaineering, alpine activities, and visiting the many spas found here, as well! Kranjska Gora is most famous for hosting the annual World Cup Slalom every January. You will spend your first night here in the shadows of the mighty western Julian Alps, at a family run hotel.
Overnight: Kranjska Gora
For your first cycling day, you head into the heart of the Triglav National Park. The route takes you alongside the Sava Dolinka River and into the Krma Valley. You can have lunch in the mountain hut at the foot of Triglav, the mightiest mountain in the Julian Alps. From here, you will head through the Radovna Valley between the Pokljuka and Mežakla plateaus to the thundering rapids of the 1.6 km Vintgar Gorge.
Distance: 40 km / 25 mi
Highlights: Triglav NP, Sava Dolinka River, Krma Valley
An easy descent into the valley. You will be taken by bus up to the high plateau at Pokljuka. From here you can marvel at the stunning views before gliding down into the neighboring Bohinj Valley, the jewel in the heart of the Triglav National Park. You will cycle through the many small alpine villages scattered across the valley until reaching the small settlement of Ribcev Laz (Fisherman’s Pass) lying next to the stunning Lake Bohinj. Wedged into the corner of this dead end valley, Bohinj is the largest and deepest lake in the national park, and is surrounded by shimmering mountain peaks. The view across this lake from the bridge at Ribcev Laz is unrivaled. Cycle around the lake to Savica Waterfall, source of the Sava Bohinjka River, and then take the cable car up to Vogel Mountain for a spectacular view into the Bohinj Valley and of Mount Triglav, the highest peak in the Julian Alps. Explore the forests surrounding the lake before spending the evening in one of the cozy village pubs and trying the locally made honey brandy. Cycle downhill to the foot of Mount Triglav.
Distance: 27 km / 17 mi + 16 km / 10 mi option
Highlights: Fisherman’s Pass, Lake Bohinj, Savica Waterfall, Mt. Triglav
Leaving Bohinj you cycle to the lovely village of Bohinjska Bistrica, where you can admire the picture-perfect backdrop. Then it’s up 750 m / 2400 ft to the Jelovica high plateau. From the top, the route takes you through a deep forest which soon drops off into the Selska Dolina Valley leading to the Skofja Loka hills. The first stop is at the little alpine village of Sorica, set among low green hills. This is the birthplace of the famous Slovene painter, Ivan Grohar. As you ride into the village his statue will greet you. Visit his gallery where you’ll find a limited collection of his work. The next stop is at the historic iron-smelting town of Zelezniki, where you will find the remains of an old blast furnace dating from 1826. Stop in one of the village inns along the way and try the delicious trout. Finally, you arrive in the wonderful town of Skofja Loka, one of the oldest towns in Slovenia. If you are not too tired you can cycle up to the castle on the hill overlooking town. Spend the rest of the evening wandering through the old streets of this historic medieval town.
A lift to top of mountain pass is available for this part of the trip at an extra cost of 26 EUR per person.
Distance: 49 km / 30 mi
Highlights: Jelovica high plateau, Ivan Grohar birthplace, Zelezniki
Overnight: Skofja Loka
Today is flatlands riding, an easy biking trip to Ljubljana. Once you are settled into your hotel, you will visit the historic old town of Ljubljana and marvel at the ornate, old-world architecture and “fin de siecle” mansions. Then it’s a short walk or ride up to the mighty Ljubljana Castle, perched high on a hill and standing guard over the old town and city center. From its tower you get a great view of Ljubljana’s heart and soul. As the sun goes down, you can choose between relaxing with a drink in the many outdoor bars/cafes beside the Ljubljanica River or take an evening stroll, enjoying the lights and vibrant sounds of the city and its charismatic people. Or perhaps do both!
Distance: 31 km / 19 mi
Highlights: Ljubljana Castle & river
Today is a nice and easy day across the historic and richly diverse plains surrounding the capital. As the morning sun begins to rise high in the sky, you will be cycling across an immense 160-square kilometer marshy plain. The Ljubljansko Barje was once a great lake until it dried up 6000 years ago, leaving behind an incredibly diverse landscape that is now home to some of Europe’s rarest forms of bird, plant and insect life. Along the way you can take a short walk into the picturesque Iški Vintgar Gorge Nature Reserve, carved deep into a stunning limestone dolomite plateau, and visit the remnants of the world’s highest railway viaduct in Borovnica. In hot summer months you can even freshen up in a typical Carst Lake of Podpec. Just before arriving in Vrhnika, you can visit the Technical Museum of the Republic of Slovenia housed in Bistra Castle, where you’ll find a great hunting collection and an interesting exhibition of Tito’s cars. The roads will then take you away from the main tourist routes and off the beaten track. You will experience the real Slovenian countryside as you cycle past the beautiful Slivnica Mountain and the intermittent lake of Planina, and marvel at the wonders of this vast world of limestone. You can stop for a picnic lunch in the Rakov Škocjan nature reserve, where the Rak River has carved out a stunning gorge containing some of nature’s most incredible landscape formations, including two natural bridges.
Distance: 71 km / 44 mi + 18 km / 11 mi option
Highlights: Iški Vintgar Gorge Nature Reserve, Bistra Castle
Today is hilly, with one long descent at the end. You will have a chance to visit the stunningly beautiful underground Postojna cave formation, carved deep into the heart of the limestone hills. This is the most extensive cave system in Slovenia, covering a total of 21 kilometers. The 1½ hour tour will take you through a fairy-tale world full of large and colorful stalactites and stalagmites, not forgetting the unique “human fish”, a mysterious creature that lives in dark pools inside the caves. You can also take a short detour to the impenetrable fortress of Predjama Castle, wedged tight into a crevasse halfway up a 123-meter cliff-face protruding dramatically into the surrounding basin. Here lived a vivacious and daring knight. Enjoy your stay at a beautiful and relaxing agriturismo tonight.
Distance: 42 km / 26 mi + 6 km / 4 mi option
Highlights: Postojna Caves, Predjama Castle
Overnight: near Stanjel
Your ride today features beautiful rolling terrain with intermittent flat sections. The first stop is at the botanical garden in Sežana and then it’s on to the stud farm of Lipica, where you can visit these beautiful thoroughbred Lipizaner horses whose glistening white coats and gentle, graceful dancing have earned them a worldwide reputation. The history of the Lipica horses is closely linked to the Vienna riding school. Take a tour in a traditional carriage, watch them perform and visit them close up in their stables. This will be a day to remember. If you have the time for a couple of side-trips, you can also visit the unusual but very interesting war museum, set in the village tower of Lokev.
Distance: 48 km / 40 mi
Highlights: botanical garden, Lipizaner horses, war museum Overnight: Divaca
Your last ride of your Slovenia tour starts with rolling terrain and then goes into a long downhill. If you skiped Postojna Caves, this morning you can visit Škocjan Caves; no less interesting but much less frequented. These are karst caves and are listed as UNESCO natural monument! Then it is to your final destination, the Italian city of Trieste. Trieste was once an important port city and today is still full of worldly flair and a wonderful atmosphere. It was once part of Slovenia whilst under the rule of the Austrian monarchy and you may notice some influence. Visit the castle, cathedral and Piazza Unita, the central square. Relax with a cappuccino in the many old-fashioned cafes.
Distance: 38 km / 24 mi
Highlights: Škocjan Caves
Today, your tour through Slovenia concludes and you will depart directly from Trieste. We are happy to make additional arrangements for you in advance, should you wish to continue on in Slovenia or elsewhere in Europe. Inquire at time of booking and our in-house travel experts will give you the best suggestions and take care of everything!
Tour Rates by Season: (based on double occupancy)
Three and Four Star Hotels & Deluxe Guest Houses:
10 Day Trip
6 Day Version with Ljubljana Finish
Single & Solo Supplements: Single supplement applies when 2 or more travelers are together with single use rooms. Please inquire for rates.
Upgraded Lodging Where Available: quoted case by case, please ask us for rates.
Hybrid Bike Rental: 207 euros
Road Bike Rental: 270 euros
E-bike Rental: 336 euros
Bike Rental Details Page
Important Cancellation Terms: Unique cancellation conditions apply to this tour, starting with 25% trip price non-refundable up to 60 days prior to travel.
Make it Custom: Do you like this tour but want to make it different? Tell us your wishes & we will quote it!
We went on Pure Adventures’ Best of Slovenia self guided cycling holiday in September 2017. Apart from the weather that was unseasonably wet and cool this year, the holiday was excellent. Pure Adventures agents in Slovenia provided a first rate service. The collections, train link and luggage handling all worked like clockwork. Their representatives spoke fluent English and were very informative, pleasant and helpful. The bikes were in very good condition and well set up for us and the routes were easy to follow and taking us through the beautiful countryside of Western Slovenia. The hotels were varied and suitable for the tour we were on. The Triglav at Bled was particularly good, and the food at Casa Franco at Kobarid was superb. We have been on similar cycling tours with other countries throughout Europe and the organisation of this one was as good or better than any we have been on.
The trip was just perfect. We enjoyed every moment, particularly due to your careful and precise planning. That goes for Peter too. He was a pleasure. Always ahead of schedule and very accommodating. He even took the time to answer all of our crazy questions about the history of the region.
Operator’s comment: Thanks Chris! We are so happy you had such a great time, thank you for sharing your experience with us!
What could be a better way to tour the country of Slovenia than by self-guided biking? The routes were excellent, and we had lovely Accomodations.
Our overall impression of this tour is excellent. The maps and road books were also excellent!
Great tour from Pure Adventures – we have done several and this is our favorite so far. The most pleasant surprise was the 3* Spacapan in Komen, where the accommodation was very nice, and the food was the best of the entire trip. On tour support was excellent.